Garden-worthy native plants
The Florida Natives Garden is comprised of a formal courtyard area and the planting beds in and around the Clayton E. Hutcheson Agricultural Complex. The use of native plants in landscapes is Florida-friendly and helps preserve the state’s natural resources. Increasingly, our native birds, butterflies and wildlife rely on gardeners to replace natural habitat lost to development. Native plants provide the food, cover and nesting sites these species so vitally need. The courtyard at the east entrance won the 2008 Award of Honor from the Florida Native Plant Society for Institutional Native Plant Display.
This landscape, designed by Robert Hopper ASLA, was made possible by the Batchelor Foundation, the Florida Native Plant Society, Florida Wildflower Foundation, The Garden Club of Palm Beach, State Wildflower License Plate and the Palm Beach County Extension Service in cooperation with the Friends of Mounts Botanical Garden.
Firebush produces bright red flowers that attract hummingbirds and butterflies, including the zebra longwing and gulf fritillary butterflies. Song birds also like to feed on the berries.
Wild coffee is a native shrub that makes a versatile addition to the landscape. The evergreen leaves are shiny and dark green. Clusters of small white flowers bloom from the branch tips in spring and summer, and red fruits are produced in summer and fall. The fruits resemble true coffee beans, but do not contain caffeine—while wild coffee is in the same family (Rubiacaea) as true coffee, Coffea spp., they are not the same species.